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Automotive Customer Service Helps with Sales

The rise of online reviews has a lot of dealers focused more on customer service than ever before. It may sound self-serving, but here's the thing. Whatever it takes to get any business to pay more attention to their customers should be considered a good thing. Who cares if it's supposed to help with sale? In the car business, it's not just a possibility that good customer service helps increase sales. It's pretty much guaranteed.

AutoSuccess Magazine posted a blog post by Callbright's Jordan Bentley that explains five ways customer service actually helps boost sales:

Your employees should be providing top-notch customer service whether a customer is spending $50,000 for a new car or $50 for an oil change. A high level of customer satisfaction in the sales department will reap benefits in the service department, with customers returning twice a year for routine maintenance. And remember that people don't drive the same vehicle forever — eventually they'll enter the market as buyers again. With good experiences in both the sales and service departments, the customer is much more likely to return to your lot for their next vehicle.

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Online Reviews Continue to Influence Sales

They say that word of mouth is still the best way to improve business in the car industry, but online reviews continue to grow as a leading factor in whether or not customers are willing to do business with you. This comes from a study discussed on FI-Magazine this month that highlights some pretty interesting statistics.

Perhaps the most telling of the statistics is the drop from 33% in 2011 to just 14% in 2014 of people who do not trust online customer reviews as much as personal recommendations. It's as if these customer reviews act like a virtual form of word of mouth. Here's what they had to say:

In the age of online reviews, it turns out that word of mouth may still be the most common way consumers recommend local businesses — but habitual use of the Internet to find reviews is increasing. That’s according to a survey by BrightLocal, which found consumers prefer to give recommendations to people they know on a personal basis.

Read more on FI-Magazine.

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Negative Reviews Can Be Good

No dealership likes to hear bad things about the way they do business. What's worse is when this negative feedback is broadcast to the world in the form of negative reviews and hateful posts on social media and review sites like DealerRater. This can be both disheartening and cause much worry amongst the internet department - what will the dealer or GM say when they see it?

These negative reviews can be an opportunity for the dealership to shine. We're not expected to be able to make everyone happy. In fact, negative reviews are often expected about all businesses, including car dealerships. How you handle them can be the difference between the reviews turning people off and actually helping to demonstrate your dealership's willingness to address the issues.

In this article by Rob Hagen on Dealer Elite, he details the steps that a dealership should take when negative reviews pop up:

Mistakes happen, people realize this. Nobody expects a business to be perfect, as everyone has bad days. However, how you handle these mistakes is the secret to formulating long-term opinions of your business.

Read more on Dealer Elite.

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